Premier League: Swansea and Southampton draw at the Liberty Stadium
Last Updated: 22/04/13 1:56pm
Swansea City and Southampton played out a forgettable 0-0 draw at the Liberty Stadium to earn a share of the points as the end of the season approaches.
Best of the game
- Man of the match: Chico Flores was a calming influence for Swansea and had excellent positioning
- Save of the match: Maya Yoshida cleared off the line to prevent Nathan Dyer from scoring
- Gaffe of the match: The biggest cheer of the match came when referee Mark Halsey fell over after collision with Southampton players
- Talking point: Can Swansea turn around their slump to ensure a top-half finish?
With Mauricio Pochettino's visitors widely considered to be safe from Premier League relegation, they will have been pleased to extend their unbeaten run to six matches and sit eight points clear of the drop zone.
Michael Laudrup's Swansea, meanwhile, will be disappointed to fail to win a fifth successive game in a slump at the end of the season but they remain in the top half.
Swansea had made a promising start, with their movement causing the visitors problems without creating any clear-cut opportunities.
But Pochettino's men grew into the game, with the industrious Jack Cork forcing Michel Vorm into the game's first save with a hopeful effort from the edge of the box.
Vorm continued to be the busier goalkeeper and had to be at full stretch to deny Rickie Lambert his 15th goal of the season, the Dutchman tipping over a free-kick that was arrowing into the top corner.
But the goalkeeper blotted his copybook seconds later, failing to hold a simple Jay Rodriguez cross for Adam Lallana to bundle in, only for the whistle to go for handball against the Saints midfielder.
Laudrup removed Luke Moore at the break and introduced Wayne Routledge in a bid to find some inspiration.
The change almost paid dividends just two minutes after the resumption but Michu could not keep his header down from the winger's cross.
Swansea went closer still shortly after when Lallana let the ball run loose inside his own area and Michu pounced to set up Nathan Dyer, but Maya Yoshida got himself in the right place to clear off the line.
Southampton dropped ever deeper and packed midfield as the pressure increased and Daniel Fox survived an ambitious handball appeal as he blocked substitute Ki Sung-yueng's volley.
Artur Boruc then made two excellent saves as he denied Jonathan de Guzman and Dyer when the pair were in on goal.
And with time running out the visitors almost snatched a winner. Ki was muscled off the ball by Steven Davis, but Vorm sharply held Emmanuel Mayuka's effort.
After the game, both managers discussed their potential to finish in the top-half of the table.
With Southampton hitting form at the right time of the season, Pochettino told Sky Sports: "The goal is the same as always - to get the three points from every game we play."
While Laudrup set a target of at least another four points to guarantee a top-10 place.
The Dane said: We have to find them somewhere and of course it will not be easy with some of the games coming up. But that is life."
Barclays Premier League
|12||West Ham United||35||37|
|16||West Bromwich Albion||34||33|
Swansea v Southampton
Southampton goalkeeper Artur Boruc has targeted a UEFA Champions League spot within two years.
Southampton midfielder Jack Cork believes Saints will be safe from relegation if they defeat West Brom on Saturday.
Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino says he is happy to get a point against Swansea as his side did not play very well.